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Three Web Reference Building Tips for Google Maps
One of the first things most local search marketers have on their to do
lists is getting their listings to appear in a
Google Onebox at
the top of Google’s search results. To be in the box, you usually need to be
in Google’s top local search results. And one of the major factors that
influences that are "web references." Web references aren’t links, but in
local search results, they act
similarly to how links can boost a page in "regular" search results.
Here are some ways of quickly accumulating some great web references and
bump your local listing towards the top in Google.
What is a web reference?
Google crawls local sites, internet yellow pages (IYPs) and other sources
to gather as much information as it can about all the local businesses it
has in its index. When it finds a page referencing a business it knows of,
it then places that page in the "Web Pages" section of the Google local
listing and adds whatever data it has gathered as it sees fit.
1) The more categories the better
When creating your local listing in internet yellow pages or local search
channels, make sure to add as many relevant categories as possible. Most
typical IYPs will have City+Category pages made throughout their website for
Google to index. So if you add your listing to two relevant categories, when
Google crawls those pages, they will both be added as to separate web
references as seen below:
2) Coupons are more than just an incentive
Google allows you to create coupons to add to your local listing to use
as an incentive for customers to choose your business or help market current
promotions. What they don’t tell you is that Google also crawls its own
coupon pages and can also apply them as a web reference, as well as you can
see at the bottom of this example:
3) Throw a party
After you have been successful in the first two steps and getting some
great web references, throw a party. But wait, don’t forget to add this
party to local event sites like meetup
or Yahoo! Upcoming. Google also
crawls these sites for local content about the businesses it knows of and,
you guessed it, attributes these as web references:
Try these tips — there’s a good chance your competitor is not, and they
might give you and advantage they’re missing out on.
Stephen Espinosa is a Local
Search Expert and the world’s
biggest Chicago White Sox fan. He writes regularly at
www.StephenEspinosa.com. He and his dog Carl live in Winchester, CA with his
wife Stephanie. The
column appears on Mondays at Search
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.